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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2022

Julia A. Fehrer, Jonathan J. Baker and Craig E. Carroll

Wicked problems require holistic and systemic thinking that accommodates interdisciplinary solutions and cross-sectoral collaborations between private and public sectors…

Abstract

Purpose

Wicked problems require holistic and systemic thinking that accommodates interdisciplinary solutions and cross-sectoral collaborations between private and public sectors. This paper explores how public relations (PR) – as a boundary-spanning function at the nexus of corporate and political discourse – can support societies to tackle wicked problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper synthesizes literature on PR with a service ecosystem perspective. The authors use the service ecosystem design framework to structure the PR literature and develop a model of service ecosystem shaping for social change, which highlights the important role that PR can play in shaping processes.

Findings

The authors explicate how PR can (1) facilitate value cocreation processes between broad sets of stakeholders that drive positive social change, (2) shape institutional arrangements in general and public discourse in particular, (3) provide a platform for recursive feedback loops of reflexivity and (re)formation that enables discourse to ripple through nested service ecosystems and (4) guide collective shaping efforts by bringing stakeholder concerns and beliefs into the open, which provides a foundation for collective sense-making of wicked problems and their solutions.

Originality/value

This paper explains the complexity of shaping service ecosystems for positive social change. Specifically, it highlights how solving wicked problems and driving social change requires reconfiguration of the institutional arrangements that guide various nested service ecosystems. The authors discuss in detail how PR can contribute to the shaping of service ecosystems for social change and present a future research agenda for both service and PR scholars to consider.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 February 2022

Julia A. Fehrer and Liliana L. Bove

The purpose of this paper is to develop a holistic understanding for the shaping of resilient service ecosystems that considers tactics that act as stabilizing forces, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a holistic understanding for the shaping of resilient service ecosystems that considers tactics that act as stabilizing forces, and tactics that promote diversity and change and act as destabilizing forces – both central for service ecosystems to bounce forward in times of crises and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper draws on theory on complex adaptive service ecosystems and work on organizational resilience and resilient systems. With a focus on Australia and New Zealand, stalwarts of the top three economies in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking before the arrival of the Delta variant, this study illustrates how resilient service ecosystems can be shaped.

Findings

This study explicates complexity related to navigating service ecosystems toward a new order in response to the pressures of major crises. It points to the importance of understanding both, how service ecosystems stabilize and change over time. It documents a portfolio of tactics that service organizations can use to influence resilience in the service ecosystems of which they are part. It further reflects on the potential downside of resilient service ecosystems, as they tilt toward rigid structures, failure to learn and an inability to transform or alternatively chaos.

Originality/value

Service research has made progress in explicating how a service ecosystems perspective can inform crises management. This paper extends this work and explains how service ecosystems can be shaped to bounce not only back from the imposed pressures of a disruptive event but also forward toward a new order.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2021

Loic Pengtao Li, Julia A. Fehrer, Roderick J. Brodie and Biljana Juric

The purpose of this study is to diagnose the trajectory of influential conceptual articles in developing a research stream. The authors uncover the knowledge diffusion…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to diagnose the trajectory of influential conceptual articles in developing a research stream. The authors uncover the knowledge diffusion through influential conceptual articles and identify characteristics that make conceptual articles influential in their field.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on scientometrics, specifically an integrated approach combining quantitative citation counts with qualitative citation practices analysis that offers a comprehensive understanding of the nature and context of citations. The authors use the case of customer engagement – a prominent contemporary marketing and service research stream – to explore the trajectory of influential articles in shaping a new research stream.

Findings

This research shows that influential articles contribute to the reciprocal knowledge diffusion within and outside their home discipline. They provide anchor points for conceptual framing, conceptual refining and conceptual reconciliation – three application patterns of citations that are pivotal to navigate theory discovery and theory justification in a research field.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyzes the early impact period of two influential customer engagement articles to understand the developments leading to the establishment of a new research stream. Future research drawing on automated citation and bibliometric methods may consider extended time periods.

Originality/value

This study traces the trajectory of influential articles in marketing and service research. The authors identify characteristics of influential conceptual articles, and recommend practices to develop a conceptual paper with the potential for an influential trajectory. It shows that while marketing and service research has a tradition of “borrowing” theories from other fields, seminal articles “lend” theories to other fields.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Julia A. Fehrer, Sabine Benoit, Lerzan Aksoy, Thomas L. Baker, Simon J. Bell, Roderick J. Brodie and Malliga Marimuthu

The collaborative economy (CE), and within it, collaborative consumption (CC) has become a central element of the global economy and has substantially disrupted service…

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Abstract

Purpose

The collaborative economy (CE), and within it, collaborative consumption (CC) has become a central element of the global economy and has substantially disrupted service markets (e.g. accommodation and individual transportation). The purpose of this paper is to explore the trends and develop future scenarios for market structures in the CE. This allows service providers and public policy makers to better prepare for potential future disruption.

Design/methodology/approach

Thought experiments – theoretically grounded in population ecology (PE) – are used to extrapolate future scenarios beyond the boundaries of existing observations.

Findings

The patterns suggested by PE forecast developmental trajectories of CE leading to one of the following three future scenarios of market structures: the centrally orchestrated CE, the social bubbles CE, and the decentralized autonomous CE.

Research limitations/implications

The purpose of this research was to create CE future scenarios in 2050 to stretch one’s consideration of possible futures. What unfolds in the next decade and beyond could be similar, a variation of or entirely different than those described.

Social implications

Public policy makers need to consider how regulations – often designed for a time when existing technologies were inconceivable – can remain relevant for the developing CE. This research reveals challenges including distribution of power, insularity, and social compensation mechanisms that need consideration across states and national borders.

Originality/value

This research tests the robustness of assumptions used today for significant, plausible market changes in the future. It provides considerable value in exploring challenges for public policy given the broad societal, economic, and political implications of the present market predictions.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Julia A. Fehrer, Jodie Conduit, Carolin Plewa, Loic Pengtao Li, Elina Jaakkola and Matthew Alexander

Combining institutional work and actor engagement (AE) literature, this paper aims to elucidate how the collective action of market shaping occurs through the interplay…

Abstract

Purpose

Combining institutional work and actor engagement (AE) literature, this paper aims to elucidate how the collective action of market shaping occurs through the interplay between market shapers’ institutional work and engagement of other market actors. While markets are shaped by actors’ purposive actions and recent literature notes the need to also mobilize AE, the underlying process remains nebulous.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual but supported by an illustrative case study: the Winding Tree. This blockchain-based, decentralized travel marketplace shapes a market by decoupling existing resource linkages, creating new ones and stabilizing others through a dynamic, iterative process between the market shaper’s institutional work and others’ AE.

Findings

The paper develops a dynamic, iterative framework of market shaping through increased resource density, revealing the interplay between seven types of market shapers’ institutional work distilled from the literature and changes in other market actors’ engagement dispositions, behaviors and the diffusion of AE through the market.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the emergent market shaping and market innovation literature by illustrating how the engagement of market actors is a fundamental means of market shaping. Specifically, it advances understanding of how market shapers’ institutional work leads to new resource linkages and higher resource density in emergent market systems through AE. The resultant framework offers an original, critical foundation for future market shaping research.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Julia A. Fehrer, Herbert Woratschek, Claas Christian Germelmann and Roderick J. Brodie

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing engagement research in two directions: first, it operationalizes the dynamic nature of the engagement process within a

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend existing engagement research in two directions: first, it operationalizes the dynamic nature of the engagement process within a customer-brand dyad and, second, it tests the interrelationships with other network actors in a triadic network setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2×2 experimental design models the iterative nature of the engagement process based on repeated measures at three points in time, considering the contextual effects of connections with other customers and crowding-in effects based on monetary incentives.

Findings

This research demonstrates that in a utilitarian service setting, customer engagement does not emerge per se in the dyadic interaction between the customer and the brand. For high levels of engagement behavior to occur, incentives and ties to other network actors are essential. Further, the findings suggest a non-linear relationship between engagement behavior and its antecedents and consequences: engagement behavior must overcome a certain intensity threshold to unfold its effect.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to explore the dynamic nature of the engagement process in experiential and interactive service settings, and more complex network settings that may involve more actors and more complex relationships.

Practical implications

By facilitating connections between customers and compensating for low intrinsic interest, managers can facilitate actual engagement behavior even in utilitarian service contexts. Once engagement behavior has been triggered, an increased engagement disposition, higher satisfaction, higher involvement and higher loyalty follow.

Originality/value

This study empirically tests the dynamic nature of the engagement process within and beyond the dyad, and has revealed a non-linear pattern of customer engagement behavior within its nomological network.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2022

Jonathan J. Baker, Julia A. Fehrer and Roderick J. Brodie

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how brand meaning evolves as an emergent property through the cocreation processes of stakeholders on multiple levels of a brand's…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how brand meaning evolves as an emergent property through the cocreation processes of stakeholders on multiple levels of a brand's service ecosystem. This provides new insight into the intersection between brands, consumers and society, and emphasizes the institutionally situated nature of brand meaning cocreation processes. It further lays a holistic foundation for a much-needed discussion on purpose-driven branding.

Design/methodology/approach

Combining the ecosystem perspective of branding with the concept of social emergence allows clarification of brand meaning cocreation at different levels of aggregation. Emergence means collective phenomena – like social structures, concepts, preferences, states, mechanisms, laws and brand meaning – manifest from the interactions of individuals. Drawing on Sawyer's (2005) social emergence perspective, the authors propose a processual multi-level framework to explore brand meaning emergence.

Findings

Our framework spans five levels of brand meaning emergence: individual (e.g. employees and customers); interactional (e.g. where work teams or friend groups interact); relational (e.g. where internal and external actors meet); strategic (e.g. markets and strategic alliances); and systemic (e.g. regulators, NGOs and society). It acknowledges that brand positioning is an inherently co-creative process of negotiating value propositions and aligning behaviors and beliefs among broad sets of actors, as opposed to a firm-centric task.

Originality/value

Service research has only recently embraced a macro–micro perspective of branding processes. This paper extends that perspective by paying attention to the nested service ecosystems in which brand meaning emerges and the degree to which this process can (and cannot) be navigated by individual actors.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2018

Julia A. Fehrer, Herbert Woratschek and Roderick J. Brodie

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new business model logic, highlighting value processes in and properties of platform business models to inform business model…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new business model logic, highlighting value processes in and properties of platform business models to inform business model thinking from a systemic and dynamic perspective. It challenges the idea of firms managing, influencing and controlling entire activity systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The study traces the evolution of different approaches to business models and assesses theories that explain value cocreation and systemic value capture to develop a new business model logic.

Findings

Business model thinking has evolved away from Porter’s value chain to a new logic based on open networks and platforms. This study develops a framework for understanding platform business models from a systemic perspective. Derived from service-dominant logic, this new business model logic responds to phenomena in contemporary business environments characterized by increasing connectivity and sociality among actors.

Research limitations/implications

The framework, developed from an extensive body of business model literature, has yet to be subjected to empirical investigation. Future research may involve the exploration of business model design processes and business model innovation from a systemic perspective.

Practical implications

Managers who aim to design their business models based on the logic of platform businesses require an understanding of their organization’s collaboration potential, technological interfaces and potential to leverage network relationships. This research guides start-ups and incumbents to evaluate their platform potential.

Originality/value

This study systematically emancipates the business model logic from a firm-centered, inside-out perspective, focuses on network relationships beyond the customer–firm dyad, explains value processes beyond organizational borders and rethinks value capture from a systemic perspective.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Article
Publication date: 21 April 2022

Timo Dietrich, Erin Hurley, Julia Carins, Jay Kassirer, Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Robert W. Palmatier, Rowena Merritt, Scott K. Weaven and Nancy Lee

The purpose of this paper is synthesise social marketing literature over the past fifty years and deliver a set of guiding tenets to propel social marketing’s agenda forward.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is synthesise social marketing literature over the past fifty years and deliver a set of guiding tenets to propel social marketing’s agenda forward.

Design/methodology/approach

Across three strands, this paper amalgamates theoretical and practitioner evidence from social marketing. This synthesis commences with a review, summary and critical discussion of five decades of social marketing research. Across Strands 2 and 3, the authors review 412 social marketing interventions reported across 10 evidence reviews and 238 case studies.

Findings

This paper demonstrates social marketing’s use of fundamental marketing principles and capability to achieve behaviour change outcomes. Social marketers have built frameworks and processes that non-profit organisations, government agencies and policymakers seeking to enact change can use. This paper delivers five tenets that summarise the findings of the three strands and delivers research priorities for the next 50 years of social marketing research to drive the field forward.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing on five decades of learning, this paper proposes research priorities that can be applied to refine, recalibrate and future-proof social marketing’s success in making the world a better place.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates the value of social marketing science and helps bridge gaps between theory and practice, and further strengthens social marketing’s value proposition. This paper provides confidence that money invested in social marketing programs is well spent.

Originality/value

This paper delivers a forward-looking perspective and provides social marketing academics and practitioners with confidence that it can assist in overcoming society’s most pressing issues. The paper encompasses key social marketing literature since it was founded 50 years ago. Five tenets will guide social marketing forward: evidencing marketing principles, operationalisation of processes, principles and activities, implementing systems thinking, creating and testing marketing theory and guiding a new social marketing era.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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